Do This to Start Preparing for a New College Football Season

Head coach Ryan Day of the Ohio State Buckeyes watches practice. Steven Branscombe/Getty Images/AFP

The college football season is fast approaching and if you expect to show a profit from your wagers this season, it is time to go to work. Let us explain.

By now, nearly all the key publications are out. You can buy the magazines or online versions, whatever works best for you. The best of the bunch are:

  • Athlons
  • Lindy’s
  • Phil Steele
  • Marc Lawrence Playbook

All of these have detailed information on every FBS team, both for general and betting knowledge.

For preseason and in-season use, another terrific website is College Football News, which is loaded with fresh daily information. And for all your various college football odds for sides, totals, futures, and AI predictions, you can get those right here at Oddstrader as a great resource.

Handle First Things First

You can start by breaking down who will finish where in each conference. Whether you use an excel spreadsheet or the old reliable paper and pencil, it should look like this. Here is an example of one conference.

SteeleLindy’s SportsAthlonBetMGM
West Division
Alabama1111
Texas A&M2222
Mississippi3335
Auburn4453
Mississippi State6666
LSU7544
East Division
Georgia1111
Tennessee2323
Florida3442
Kentucky4234
South Carolina5555
Missouri6666
Vanderbilt7777

This gives you an overview of what these experts think and you can read deeper about the breakdowns of the teams. At the same time, find a sportsbook you use and add in what their odds show for comparison’s sake.

As you go through this exercise, you will find discrepancies, and it becomes your job to read what each says, allowing you to formulate your opinion about who is correct.

Start in With the Nuts and Bolts

Next on the agenda is learning what each team has for returning players from the prior season and where their strengths and weaknesses could be.

Quarterback is the most important position and having a skilled player is a difference-maker. Also, finding teams that are breaking in a new signal-caller, especially if they lost an experienced QB definitely matters, as this could be important on the first half of the season to understand if this club is Play Against material.

As always, offensive line play is extremely important, because everything starts up front.

As always, offensive line play is extremely important, because everything starts up front. If a team welcomes back at least four starters or has two or fewer, that also could lead to the offense doing well or sputtering in September and early October.

Additionally, knowing if a squad has quality skill position players that can help the quarterback or even the O-Line is significant.

On defense, depending on the scheme, you want to be aware that the front four or a team utilizing a 3-4 defense, can stop the run and rush the opposing passer, as you can cover up enough of the mistakes an average secondary could make.

If the defensive line or linebackers are green or lacking in speed and experience, having notes about what squads will give up rushing yards or passing yardage through the air with the inability to collapse the pocket, can expose even a good secondary.

With passing a necessity in college football today, having the beat on the last line of defense matters. Understanding what a secondary can do well at either cornerback spot or if the safeties –or both– can prevent big plays.

Don’t Forget The Coaching Staff

The element you have to be shrewd about is schools that have changed coaches. The vast majority of coaching changes revolve around programs that are failing or performing poorly, and that normally means the recruiting is down.

The new head coach and his staff are trying to sell the upperclassmen they need to be the leaders while trying to bring in more talented players to replace them. Also with this, come brand new offensive and defensive schemes that may or may not fit the players on hand. Again, these could be Play Against clubs you can profit from.

Follow these steps early which can help you with your college football picks


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